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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Friday, July 1, 2016

Previously Convicted Bank Robber Admits to Robbing Second Bank with an AK-47 While on Federal Supervised Release

Also Threatened to Taser Bank Employees

Baltimore, Maryland – Jesse Allen Burney, age 34, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to armed bank robbery.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Colonel Tyree C. Blocker, Superintendent of the Pennsylvania State Police, and Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler.

In January 2005, Burney pleaded guilty in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania to charges arising from an armed bank robbery.  He was sentenced to 144 months in federal prison and released on May 30, 2014.

According to his plea agreement, on April 27, 2015 and while on supervised release for the bank robbery conviction, Burney entered a bank in Whiteford, Maryland wearing a motorcycle helmet with the reflective visor down, a tactical vest, gloves and a backpack. A loaded AK-47 with a sock over the barrel was poking out the top of the backpack.

Shortly after entering the bank, Burney withdrew a taser, turned it on, pointed it at the tellers stating that this is a robbery. He demanded $100,000.  Burney threatened to start shooting if the safe was not opened in 15 seconds.  The tellers gave Burney money from the bank’s vault.  Burney put $97,237 in his backpack.  As he walked out of the bank, Burney told the employees that he would come back and shoot them if he saw any police.

Burney fled the scene on a dirt bike.  Several miles away, he left the bike on a country road hidden under a tarp.  He drove away in an SUV that he had left at that location.  Law enforcement officers were able to track Burney as he drove into a farm field in Lower Chanceford Township, Pennsylvania, via a GPS device deposited with the money he had stolen. Burney then fled from the SUV and hid in the woods.

A Pennsylvania State Trooper found Burney in the woods.  Investigators recovered a loaded AK-47 magazine in the backpack, as well as the AK-47 which had a loaded 30-round magazine attached and a round in the chamber.  The stolen money was also recovered, along with the helmet and tactical vest Burney wore during the robbery.  Burney told investigators that he owed $100,000 in restitution for the prior federal bank robbery conviction.

Burney and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Burney will be sentenced to 252 months in prison.  U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander scheduled sentencing for September 2, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police and Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant United States Attorney Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, who is prosecuting the case.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated July 1, 2016